Bosco Henriques is one of India’s most famous molecular biologists. His Biodye India Pvt Ltd is a leading name in natural dyes.
Biodye was a culmination of two projects which Bosco did for the Union ministry of environment and forests. In the first project, we identified over 100 plants whose sustainable parts (leaves and fruits) could be used to dye cotton in hues that were fast to light, wash, crock and perspiration.
In the second, they developed methods to grow dye-plants, make long shelf-life dye powders, dye yarn and fabric made from cotton, flax, jute, viscose, silk and wool in the entire spectrum of hues, shades and tints using only non-toxic and biodegradable inputs.
The wastewater was used for irrigation, and the sludge was composted and used as manure. The project culminated in a fashion show that demonstrated the viability of natural dyes.
Scouring, bleaching and mordant dyeing take two days, and vat dyeing (indigo) takes as many days as the number of dips plus two (one for scouring and another for final washing). One can easily dye 1 ton of yarn/ fabric/apparel per month.
Biodye has leaf shredder, pulveriser, sifter and blender in-house which enables them to produce dyes from vegetal matter.
They keep the colours environment-friendly by using enzymes (not caustic) for scouring; peroxide (not hypochlorite) for bleaching; alum and iron vinegar as mordants (chromium, copper and tin are not used); sustainable parts of plants (not bark, wood, roots and wild flowers) and lac as dye source; are the only synthetic carbonaceous compounds used and are non-toxic and biodegradable) are employed; all other inputs are natural ingredients and non-toxic inorganic compounds (at concentrations used).
Reference- Fibre2Fashion website, Biodye India website